Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

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RWAP
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Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby RWAP » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:59 pm

As well as the existing Gold Card, I have now added a second Gold Card, a Trump Card and a Trump Card 2 to sellmyretro.com - see

http://www.sellmyretro.com/category/Ret ... ~~+Add-Ons

Watch out for some Super Gold Cards next week !!


skagon
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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby skagon » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:58 pm

So we'll probably have to sell our firstborns for one of these...


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby RWAP » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:24 pm

I guess it depends on how much you think you would get for your first born!

Unfortunately, the value of them is dictated by market forces - you don't find many disk interfaces for sale, let alone Trump Cards, Gold Cards and Super Gold Cards which have been tested and are fully working.

I would like to think that most people find that I am reasonable with my pricing structures which reflect not only the rarity of an item, but also how good it is (no I don't ask £45 for a book on how to set up your QL, or ask £60 for some untested software on a microdrive cartridge which probably disintegrated some years ago - unlike some sellers you come across).

In fact, anyone that knows me, knows that I spend a lot of time and money promoting the QL as a whole and investing money in new projects for all sorts of retro computers.

But let's face it, for some people no matter how much you charge for an item, it will always be too much!


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby Dave » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:59 pm

I have always found Rich's prices to be fair, and set by the market. He has always passed the test of "Could he charge more and still sell these items? Yes."

In a way, the hardware sales he does sponsor his software restoration projects too.


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vanpeebles
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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby vanpeebles » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:28 pm

You also get back up support rather than sold as seen as would be on ebay. Yes they are expensive but until we get a new range of hardware these items are very much needed :)


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby skagon » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:07 pm

I do apologise, but you're provoking me...
So, the fact that the two Trump Cards were for sale on ... another forum which shall remain nameless, and he went behind the scenes, against the forum rules, got them both and is now selling them, only 2 days later... is fair to you? [for the record, he got banned from there for that]
For the record, the seller was asking £60 for the TC and £90 for the TC2. Now, they're on sale for £95 and £120 respectively.
Also, the "market forces" is just bull, if you ask me. I've been looking at a Gold Card on his site for months, price unchanged at £165, and now there's a second at the exact same price.
If the "market forces" existed, he should have lowered the price, since it's obvious that nobody is desperate enough (yet) to but at £165. That's not selling, it's just waiting for victims.

So, all in all, if you think that it's "good for the community" that he's using his money to snatch everything that surfaces in the market for cheap, give it a good clean and then put it on for sale at double the actual 'street' price... then I guess you're all happy keeping the "QL" an elitist hobby, for you "select few" that have the hundreds of pounds to buy those cards.
Congrats to all...

P.S. Oh yeah, and I am positive, if there ever is any new peripheral or device developed for the QL in the future, it will be even more overpriced, always according to """The Market Forces"""... which is a self-fulfilling prophecy... isn't it...


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby vanpeebles » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:05 pm

I don't think that tone is needed :) High prices for rare/sought after items is just a fact of any hobby not just the QL. The time since those expensive add-ons were made and now has not seen any significant developments in new hardware for storage etc.

I still have a list of bits I'd love to get but they are like hen's teeth and when they do surface it's going to cost. It's always worth keeping an on ebay for a newly listed item and checking places like ebay.de.

As for the buying cheap and selling for more, well if that is your full time business then that is what you do. RWAP is the last surviving full time QL trader. It's not an elitist hobby but the fact is the QL sold in low numbers and was always a niche machine. The prices reflect that.

I've always said (as does everyone else) that getting a decent storage setup is vital to getting the most from your QL but the rarity(and age) of the add-ons doesn't make it easy for new owners. Hopefully there are a few irons in the fire in terms of storage add-ons and they will bare fruit.


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby RWAP » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:14 pm

Actually, I never even realised that it was against the forum rules on that site - never having bought anything or sold anything on it, but well no great loss there for me being banned for simply buying goods from someone wanting to sell them!

The seller got the price he was looking for, so was happy. He could have asked more money for them if he wanted.

Looking back through the forum, it was quite rare for Sinclair QL stuff to sell for some reason - maybe because very little gets listed, or maybe the QL users don't tend to use the forums.

The prices of hardware reflect what they tend to sell for on ebay, but actually lower than that. I have access to a large QL user base and people who come to me all the time wanting to buy their first QL at a lower price than they can find on the net, but with a disk interface or some other mass storage option.

Maybe you don't have any experience of dealing with me as a trader, or know my own background and the things I do for the QL community....

Where else can you get a fully working QL with support and backup for £75 ?

Who is the sucker - the person paying £75 for a QL, £95 for a Trump Card, or £165 for a Gold Card from a reputable trader, knowing that it fully works, or someone paying £125 for a QL known to be working when put away 20 years ago, or £200 for an untested Gold Card, or £85 for a Trump Card without memory - those are prices taken from ebay!

As for new hardware - well if you bothered to look at some of the things I have done, such as bringing keyboard membranes and the ZXpand to market - you will realise that a huge investment is required to get these products made and the end price is based on what the developer thinks is reasonable. If there is no profit in it for me, then I decide how much of my time and assistance I can provide to bring it to market - bearing in mind I have to live and pay bills etc.

A lot of the retro market seem to complain that anyone should see retro computers as a place for making money - however, what they seem to completely ignore is that without making money from it, there would be no profits to invest in new hardware and software....

If someone else is willing to step forward and invest £2000 - £3000 a time in keyboard membranes and hope that they will sell them all to recoup their money, then please step forward - I will give you all the details you need....


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby RWAP » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:22 pm

skagon wrote:if there ever is any new peripheral or device developed for the QL in the future, it will be even more overpriced, always according to """The Market Forces"""... which is a self-fulfilling prophecy... isn't it...


Actually that is not always the case - I favour the SD card interface which has been discussed on here by gertk and have pushed for a version to be made which can fit in a ZX Microdrive and therefore appeal to ZX Spectrum users. The idea being that it will appeal to a larger market, and therefore should be cheaper to build as you can buy components and PCBs in larger numbers. Hopefully that means a lower price for end users.

The Gold Card and Super Gold Card will always be a lot more expensive, because they use parts which are no longer available and so cannot be re-engineered or (in most cases) repaired if they fail when plugged into a machine.

Yes, I will hopefully have 3 working Super Gold Cards soon available for people to buy, but I have had to acquire them in an untested state - 2 of them had been adapted for use in a QL tower system, so I have to get them returned to their original state and cross my fingers that they will then work!

The SD interface is based on modern parts which are more readily available and so should be a hell of a lot cheaper to produce with less risk of failure and customers coming back with problems.


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Re: Sinclair QL Floppy Disk Interfaces

Postby skagon » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:49 am

You're talking about two entirely different things here. Or three, depending on how you count. I will answer to all points.

1. Investing in new hardware. Of course, I wholeheartedly support your efforts and those of original hardware developers. Obviously, the price *should* (and I cannot stress the 'should'' enough) be dictated by the cost of the materials, the profit of the developer and the profit of the person who has them manufactured and brought to market.
I only hope that those two profit margins are 'healthy' though, and not outrageous, which is something you can easily do, if the device or part that you have is the only one in existence and you control the monopoly.

2. Providing support to the buyers of your merchandise, for an increased price. Sure, that is your prerogative. After all, if you're re-selling QLs, you have to give *something* to justify the price. Sometimes the eBay "in working condition" isn't enough.
However, most QLs on eBay don't go for £125; your examples are above the worst-case scenarios. During the last few months, the average price was £60 actually. I know because I was watching the auctions; I got one for a bit less, fully boxed and in excellent condition, and one for a bit more, with a Schon keyboard. During that time, around 7 or 8 machines were sold around that price.
Also, a SuperGold went for about £180 or so in June (and it went that high because "someone" with a lot of money to spare pushed it there). And I got my Gold a bit earlier for £75. Shortly after that, two Trump Cards sold for £50 or so.
So, you say you test them, but is your testing worth paying double or triple that price? You yourself just said that in most cases, these cards cannot be repaired, because they use parts that don't exist anymore and/or cannot be replicated. So... you offer assurance that they work, which is the same with any other seller with a screenshot in the auction. The guarantee is just "not dead on arrival" and after that... attempt to repair, which I'm sure won't be free.

So that brings me to the main point:

3. Cornering the market. If you go out and grab any and all such rare hardware you can get your hands on, then you're not allowing anyone else to get it from anywhere else but you!
I am sorry but that's not called "protecting the QL community", that is called "CORNERING the community".
And that has nothing to do with whether you invested on membranes, new hardware, new software or anything else. Completely irrelevant.
The fact is that you CAN AFFORD to buy, say, a Gold Card for £100 or even 130, if you sell them for £165. You CAN AFFORD to buy a Trump Card for £60 if you sell for £95, or a Trump Card 2 for £90 if you sell for £120. And I'm sure that the SuperGolds you got for less than £150, and that you'll probably sell them for £250 or even 300... because "the market forces" say so.
So... if these things come up once every six months and YOU get them all... you're making sure that anyone who'd want one doesn't have any other choice. Or, if it's on eBay, that they'll pay just as much (or more).

To sum it up, some points:
1. if I was interested in a SuperGold and was willing to take the risk of buying an untested one for £50 or £100... how could I do it, if you get everything that moves?
2. If I have the ability and knowledge to get one of those "adapted" SuperGolds and return them to their original state myself, how can I do it, if you're getting everything?
3. Just out of curiosity, you got the two Trump Cards probably only yesterday. I assume you hooked them up, verified that they were working -- something that the original seller had verified anyway -- and put them up for sale within a couple of hours.
Please, answer me this: what did you do, in these few hours, to justify the £30 price jump?
Did you service them somehow? I don't think so.
Can you guarantee that it will be working after a week or a month?
Will you repair it (for free) if it does? Or at least, try to?
Finally... if I told you that I want one of your SuperGolds untested, would you sell one to me with just a token profit? Obviously, you could always give me a broken one from your stash, but let's just assume you'd be honest. Would you sell me one if I wanted to take the risk?

All in all... investing money and hoping you'll get them back is what every business does every day. Restaurants cook food daily, hoping that there'll be customers to buy it. Bakers make bread hoping they'll sell them. Trains run, hoping there'll be commuters to buy tickets. That's the name of the game. It's not "caring" or "bravery", it's called "investment risk".
That does not justify grabbing everything in sight and re-selling it in the exact same state (ok, maybe with a bit less dust on it) and with no warranty other than "not dead-on-arrival" for 50% or 100% more.
Sure, it's your money and it's your business and you're not breaking any laws doing it. Sure, you could very well be very honest and trustworthy and helpful with your customers. But that's the issue: only with those who can afford you. Everyone else can only stick their noses at your shop window and drool.
It is my opinion that what you're doing is killing the QL community -- or at least limiting it to a few select -- and that even your buying practices are questionable (judging by the latest incident) and it's my right to express my opinion openly.



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